The Queen wiped away tears and was forced to mourn alone away from her family in St George’s Chapel during Prince Philip’s Covid-hit Windsor Castle funeral today as she said an emotional final goodbye to her ‘strength and stay’ after their extraordinary 73-year life together.
Her Majesty looked grief-stricken and bowed her head in reverence as she accompanied her beloved husband’s coffin on its final journey while their eldest son Prince Charles cried as he walked behind the casket into church followed by other devastated royals.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin was covered in his personal standard and carried his sword, naval cap and a wreath of flowers with a handwritten note from his wife as pallbearers placed him on to his extraordinary self-designed green Land Rover Defender hearse in the castle’s quadrangle packed with hundreds of armed personnel.
After the eight minute procession and the 50 minute service, his coffin was lowered into the Royal Vault. A lament was played by a lone piper of the Royal Regiment of Scotland and the Last Post was then sounded by buglers of Philip’s beloved Royal Marines who then played Action Stations at the specific request of The Duke of Edinburgh.
Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, pronounced the Blessing before the 30 royal mourners silently filed out of the church into cars to take them the short journey back to castle. Harry and William decided to walk back with Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, and were seen smiling speaking animatedly as they were reunited for the first time in a year where their relationship became fractured.
The emotional Queen had arrived at the funeral as the national anthem played and the royal Bentley stopped next to her beloved husband’s coffin, where she poignantly paused for a moment of reflection as cannons fired and bells tolled in remembrance of the duke, wiping tears from her eyes.
Her Majesty was then driven to St George’s Chapel with her lady in waiting Susan Hussey, before being sat alone at the front of the church where she stood and bowed her head during the national minute’s silence. She looked at the coffin throughout the poignant service, where the majority of her children and grandchildren were on the verge of tears.
Following behind the coffin was the royal procession, led by Philip’s children Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. The grandchildren, including Prince William and Prince Harry, followed but the feuding brothers were separated by their cousin Peter Phillips, viewed as a ‘peacemaker’ between the two.
The Duke of Cambridge entered the chapel one place ahead of his younger brother, as the mourners filed into the historic gothic chapel without saying anything to each other. But they later spoke as they walked back to the castle, with Kate taking a step back to let them spend time alone.
The Queen had decided that no royals should wear military uniform after Prince Andrew demanded to dress as an Admiral and Prince Harry was stripped of his titles. They were allowed to wear their medals, however. Andrew was seen driving away in a casual suit and aviator sunglasses around an hour after the funeral ended.
The Queen wore Queen Mary’s Richmond Brooch, while Camilla wore the Rifles Brooch. The Duchess of Cornwall wore the brooch in July 2020 when Philip’s role as Colonel-in-Chief of the infantry regiment The Rifles was formally handed over to her.
Kate wore a necklace and earrings borrowed from the Queen.
After the funeral ended at 3.49pm, the Queen led the Royal Family from the chapel, followed by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.